Learning to communicate well in a second language is a skill that opens you up to amazing opportunities, giving your life more quality, richness, and excitement. But getting to that point in a second language is not easy. I often tell clients, “If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.”

But more often than not, when we have the opportunity to learn, our fear gets the best of us. Maybe we know what we want to say, but we are unsure of how to say it. Our fear of saying it wrong pushes us into silence.

You have the marvelous opportunity to raise your voice in a second language, one that can reach more people in the world. Don’t you want to take advantage of that? Everyone has a multitude of stories to tell, and the world is a much better place when you communicate your story, however imperfect it may be when it comes out in words.

The most important part of communication is listening, and no one can listen to you if you don’t say anything.

You can improve your communication in a second language. To do that, you have to practice your second language. Take advantage of speaking opportunities when they arise. Find a speech trainer who can give you the help you need with the language. Read books and websites in that language to learn new vocabulary words. And try not to let the fear of what your listeners think keep you from raising your voice.

The most important part of communication is listening, and no one can listen to you if you don’t say anything. Good listeners will pay more attention to the message you are trying to communicate than to the way you say it. But they’ll never hear it if you don’t try. Open your mouth, raise your voice, and tell your story.